The School Curriculum
Our curriculum is designed to meet the full requirements of the National Curriculum for the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stages 1 and 2. We aim to promote excellence and the highest possible standards for all our pupils. The curriculum of our school is organised so that children are stimulated, encouraged and challenged to develop their individual potential and personality to the full. It is our intention that children leave Blackrod Church School having experienced a broad and exciting curriculum, and that their experiences when learning are positive and memorable.
Phonics teaching in based on the Letters and Sounds programme. The reading system is split in to halves; ‘Learning to Read’ and ‘Broadening Reading Experiences’. As children are learning to read we use Rigby Star Books in order to provide a developmental and progressive system to develop children into fluent readers. As they become confident and fluent to a good standard (around Year 2 or 3) they will then transfer onto our Accelerated Reader system which takes children onto real novels. This system ensures that children are reading a rich and varied selection of books at the correct level for their reading range.
Here at BCS from Years 1 to 5 we use Maths No Problem to enable children to master maths skills. It is based on the research and lesson approaches used in Singapore. To find out some more about the fundamental idea behind the structure as well as some great videos demonstrating the approach to calculations please follow the link http://www.mathsnoproblem.co.uk/parent-videos
Each year group delivers a set of ‘topics’ during the year that covers the National Curriculum pertinent to them. Teachers plan these each term in order to be flexible in approach; sometimes we adapt what we teach in order to respond to the interest of the class or respond to an event in the world. This flexibility helps us to keep the curriculum alive with interesting and exciting coverage.
When teaching we are always mindful of meeting the needs of different learners. Some children will need additional support in order to access learning whilst others will need extra challenge to enable them to work at greater depth in a subject. We aim to ensure that all children become masters of their year group curriculum so they can confidently tackle the subjects presented. In school we have a mantra of ‘keep up not catch up’ and continually strive to ensure that all children can access the main teaching of a lesson rather than having it made easier for them and therefore putting a cap on their learning. We do deliver intervention programmes when necessary to boost individuals or small groups as well as pre-teaching skills so that children have a better chance of ‘keeping up’ with a lesson rather than falling behind. Parents are welcome to come and meet with Miss Bramwell, Head of School and Curriculum Leader to discuss the contents of the curriculum.
As a school we believe that children should be allowed to be children! We ask all children to read regularly at home (at least three times a week) and to practise spellings and times tables facts. On top of this we provide guidance on the topic being completed in class so that as family, you may complete some additional learning at home if you so wish—we always celebrate this if it is brought into school. However, we really want children to have time after school and at the weekends to be active, learn new skills and attend clubs such as Rainbows and Beavers. There is very little evidence that suggests that homework actually makes a significant difference to what a child will learn and achieve—yet we know that the extra activities completed during the week such a swimming lessons can make the world of difference.
The school is an Anglican - Methodist Controlled Primary School, which means we enjoy close links with both St Katharine’s and the Methodist Church in Blackrod. Our church foundations are very important to us and underpin the ethos of our approach as can be seen in our school vision statement. We teach from the Blackburn Diocesan Syllabus and Roots and Fruits: Creative Collective Worship for Primary Schools.
Parents are welcome to come and meet with Miss Gradwell, our Assistant Head Teacher, who is our RE subject leader to discuss the contents of the syllabus.